This week in Winning Post

Winx may be gone from Australian racing, but her name lives on.

The Group 1 Winx Stakes at Randwick is the highlight of Australian racing this Saturday, and with the great mare herself out of the picture there'll be plenty willing to have a shy at the stumps.

Among them is another Chris Waller-trained female Group 1 winner in Unforgotten. And another in Verry Elleegant (Joel Marshall's selection and our cover girl). Winx's old sparring partner Happy Clapper will be there as well.

On the support card at Randwick the three-year-olds do battle in the Silver Shadow and the Up And Coming, the mares cross swords in the Toy Show and the sprinters clash in the Show County.

Melbourne racing is at The Valley, with the youngsters facing off in the Mitchell McKenzie and the older sprinters matching motors in the Carlyon.

Fast forward to Sunday and we've got full coverage of the all-jumps meeting at Sportsbet-Ballarat, highlighted by the Grand National Steeple.

Our form coverage kicks off on Friday with full form guides for the meetings at Bendigo and Murwillumbah (cup day), with fields, colours and tips for Canberra, Rockhampton and Alice Springs.

The metro racing this Saturday is at The Valley in Melbourne, Randwick in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide, the Gold Coast in Queensland and Belmont in Perth.

Winning Post carries full-colour liftout guides for all those meetings plus Seymour (Vic/SA/Tas edition), newcastle (NSW edition) and Townsville (Qld edition), as well as fields, tips, ratings and/or colours for other TAB Saturday cards.

On Sunday we've got liftout formguides for four more TAB meetings including Grand National Steeple at Sportsbet-Ballarat day plus fields, ratings, tips and colours for a stack more Sunday and Monday programs.

Don't forget Winning Post now carries trackwork reports for all four Melbourne training tracks, all three in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide and a general Brisbane report.

Away from the form, we've got news columns from Queensland, NSW, six Victorian districts, SA and Tasmania.

Our readers have their say on page 4, while further back in the book Shane Templeton reminisces, Paul Richards presents his unique take on the sport, Tony Kneebone brings you his Snippets column and Number Cruncher delivers the stats that matter.

Winning Post costs $5.50 and is available Thursday afternoon in selected Ballarat newsagents, the crack of dawn Friday elsewhere.

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Inside Winning Post August 24 edition you'll find liftout form guides for:
Bendigo, Murwillumbah
The Valley, Randwick, Morphettville, Gold Coast, Belmont, Seymour (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition), Townsville (Qld edition)
Sportsbet-Ballarat, Park, Muswellbrook, Devonport
On which date should the racing season start?
Eye Catchers
Each week Paul Richards identifies horses from recent race meetings that he believes are ready to win. Here we update you when they are about to have their next start.
Kensington Saturday - R6 N4 Goodfella 8th
Caulfield Saturday - R3 N11 Snitzepeg 9th
Caulfield Saturday - R7 N5 Haunted 2nd
Letter of the Week

Step up, RSPCA

Drugging racehorses with cobalt is a cruelty far greater than the electrical stimulation of such horses to promote performance, where any pain so produced is at worst transitory.
Cobalt is an insidious poison, cumulative in its effect, and causes major organ failure in horses — and, as it happens, in humans, though humans are able to make an informed choice to self-administer or not, while horses must rely on the RSPCA for relief from this cruelty.
A racehorse suffering organ failure and falling in a field of runners racing hard is a foreseeable catastrophe for horses and humans.
VCAT, which has been the ultimate arbiter of several cobalt cases in Victoria, does not appear to have a firm grasp of the rules of racing pertaining to the ultimately absolute responsibility incumbent on trainers regarding raceday drug detection, to which they agree as a term of their being licensed.
ASADA appears to be across this issue of absoluteness, so perhaps it should adjudicate such matters or at least have input into inquiries.
As a body funded by government and donations the RSPCA has an obligation to all animals, but it has left the prosecution of cobalt cruelty cases in Victoria almost entirely to Racing Victoria, which for that body has been a burdensome financial impost.

John Nott
Rutherglen (Vic)
Today's Racing
Thursday 22 August
Friday 23 August
Saturday 24 August
Social Networking

Paul Richards introduces a fun formula each week designed to come up with the odd winner for those looking for a small interest or to see if systems really work. On this page he subjects Saturday's fields to one of those systems: